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Old 04-25-2011, 05:55 AM   #1
ThunderPanda
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Default Looking to Try New Yeasts other than Nottingham

I have made a few batches of cider now with Nottingham yeast, and while I enjoy the result a lot, I think I want to find something a little less... beery. Don't get me wrong, I like beer, but I want to go for some new flavors. Nottingham ham definitely seems to leave it with a definite beer taste.

So does anyone have a yeast they love to use that is less beery? I looked at the sticky and may try one or two of the ones on there described as more fruity... I will probably mess with a couple wine or champagne yeasts too

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Old 04-25-2011, 06:22 AM   #2
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The only yeast I love to death is my unnamed, no idea what the hell it is 'standard wine yeast'. Works amazing with everything I have brewed where other yeasts either get stressed out or leave wierd after tastes. That being said, this yeast is a bit more difficult to work with than others as it has virtually no response to temperature change. I can put it in the fridge and it will keep going and going and going..

I would offer to send you some, but I don't know how it would go through customs and the American post.

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Old 04-25-2011, 12:52 PM   #3
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Well, in terms of cider 2 champagne yeasts that get used a lot on the forum are Red Star Montrachet and Lavin EC-1118. These are very inexpensive, ferment dry, are low foaming and seem to be very robust yeasts. I am currently using Montrachet and Nottingham and like both for what they do differently and am about to try the 1118.

In the end it mostly comes down to how you like your cider (sweet or dry) what temperature you will be fermenting in (notty likes lower ranges, 68ish, while the champagne yeast can tolerate higher 74ish) and of course what is cheap and available!

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Old 04-25-2011, 01:10 PM   #4
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There are yeasts made for cider, but I think the majority of cidermakers use wine yeast. I like Cotes de Blanc and D47 dry wine yeasts. They don't ferment as dry as champagne.

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Old 04-25-2011, 02:55 PM   #5
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Part question, part answer. I have only finished two brews and have loved my white labs english cider yeast over the dry mead. It seems most people on this forum do not use the English cider yeast though. Why?
I also have a batch with sweet mead that I'm real curious about. But I've not tried anything else...

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Old 04-25-2011, 03:07 PM   #6
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Definitely try wyeasts cider yeast. I also have consitently good results with L-1118.

Something to keep in mind is what you are shooting for for flavor. If you want a more vinous traditional dray cider the wine/champange yeasts work great. If you let them ferment dry, they will taste more like wine than apples. You may even want to consider a malolactic fermentation (you can get a strain from your LHBS). These can occur naturally, but not if you use pasturized or store bought juice.

I am a big fan of malolactic ciders when they go well. Then again, I love backsweetening with cider and making draft ciders (like woodchuck) too. Variety is the spice of life.

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Old 04-25-2011, 06:56 PM   #7
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I have only used the WL 775 Cider yeast and have been happy with it and see no reason for me to change it. from my research it really likes to age a long time and might produce less flavor than other yeasts but I add tons of crabs apples to my mix and my cider just screams apples. I don't have a clue why more people don't use it.

CM, could you describe the differences between the cider yeast and the others? Does it have more of an Apple flavor? I'd really hate to loses that that's why I won't change. I'd hate for my cider to taste like wine.

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Old 04-25-2011, 07:43 PM   #8
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Not sure about this, but wyeasts cider yeast might be the same as WL cider yeast.

I would say that the cider I made from the wyeast in general, had more nuance, complexity in flavor compared to some of the other yeast strains I have used. It tough to describe exact characteristics. However when I pulled off samples of each cider when I went through them, everyone in the room picked the wyeast as the best tasting cider. I used the wyeast for a malolactic wine this year, so it has less apple and more vinous flavor. I would liken it to a Chardonnay, but lighter, like a pinot grigio. There is apple character in there, but it isn't like drinking apple juice or anything.

All that said and L-1118 was the second pick. The ciders weren't incredibly different - but you could tell one was better than the other. Same juice.

For my draft ciders and sparkling ciders/champagnes I look for an apple blast like you are describing.

I am hitting my 6 month bottling mark for wyeast cider this month, so I am going to bottle, oddly tonight I think. I am interested to know how this cider is rounding out. I just tried my new england cider and it needs at least another month or two, but it was pretty good. Just need to mellow.

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Old 04-25-2011, 07:46 PM   #9
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Checkout Cville's sticky. Loads of info there. I'm a s-04 convert as a result of that thread.

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Old 04-25-2011, 08:40 PM   #10
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The other thing to keep in mind is what style of cider you are trying to make - just saying this because ckville focuses on a draft or still type cider that isn't fermented dry. He cold crashes to keep residual sugar.

Point being, depending on your desired style, you may find yourself preferring different yeasts,... just like when brewing beer. So experiment a bit!

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